The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds pet owners that if you’re planning to make a New Year’s resolution for 2014 to lose weight that you should include your pet in your plans for a healthier life.
It’s estimated that between 25 and 40 percent of dogs and cats and 31 percent of people in this country are overweight. Studies have found that other domesticated animals, including horses, are also prone to obesity.
“Taking a dog for a walk is healthy for both the dog and the dog’s owner. The companionship of a pet provides us with an extra incentive, and inspiration, to get out and work out,” says Dr. Clark K. Fobian, president of the AVMA. “Just like humans, overweight dogs and cats are more likely to get a number of diseases and health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, skin conditions, liver disease, and joint problems. So putting yourself and your pet on a diet and exercise regimen will result in improved health for 2014 and perhaps a longer life for both you and your pet. On a personal note, that will be my New Year’s resolution for 2014 as well.”
AVMA’s pet weight-loss tips:
- A visit to your veterinarian is the best way to determine if your pet is overweight, but there are things to look for to determine if you should make an immediate appointment for a puppy or kitty weigh in. A dog should have a discernible waist without fat deposits, and ribs should be easy to feel while stroking a dog. In cats, if there is any rounding of the abdomen or bulging in the back, limbs, neck or face, you’ve got a fat cat.
- Feed your pets at least twice a day, and keep track of how much they eat (your veterinarian may ask). If the pet hasn’t finished their food after about 20 minutes, take the bowl away to discourage overeating.
- Monitor the number and size of the treats you give. A large dog treat can be over 100 calories, while a small treat has as little as 10 calories. If you can’t help but repeatedly treat your beloved pet (because they’re so incredibly good), break the snacks in half or even thirds to cut the calories.
- Talk to your veterinarian about the best weight reduction plan for your overweight pet.
- To exercise a cat, engage them with a feather, string or laser pointer, and try to get them running after a toy as they swat at it. To exercise a dog, consider agility training, play time with other dogs, and chasing a ball or Frisbee. There is no better exercise for dogs, horses and humans than a brisk walk.
- Hypothyroidism is a risk factor for obesity in humans, dogs and cats, but it’s much easier to diagnose in humans. If your dog or cat is obese without a clear cause, make a veterinary appointment.
- Finally, if your pet is a little on the pudgy side, and you think it might benefit from an increased exercise regimen, see a veterinarian first. No exercise program should begin without a veterinary checkup.
Visit an EZ Vet pet weight kiosk to evaluate and monitor your pet’s weight.
It’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions as we get ready to ring in 2014 in style!
Typical world-wide celebrations include lots of glamorous, festive parties along with loud and colorful fireworks. The sparkling lights, whistles, bangs and popping sounds might be fun for humans, but it can make many pets agitated and scared. Without proper care, pets can get lost during the festivities. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your furry friend safe this New Year’s Eve:
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags with current information. Cats should wear break away / safety collars. Microchipping your pet is always advised.
- Keep your pet indoors in a quiet area that is familiar to him / her with plenty of fresh water and give dogs several safchew toys. Dogs who are crate trained may feel safest in their kennels. Cats will do best in a bathroom or utility room with food, water and their litter box.
- Frightened outdoor dogs have been known to jump high fences and dig holes to escape the sound of fireworks. Indoor animals should be kept away from large glass windows or doors because when scared they are capable of crashing right through.
- Make sure to keep all alcohol, festive foods / chocolates, floral arrangements and party decorations away from your pets.
Remember to keep a watchful eye on your pet and put the name and number of your veterinarian and local animal emergency clinic in a designated area.
And have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!
In many parts of the U.S. temperatures are climbing above 90 degrees, with heat indexes projected into the triple digits, there are no signs of letting up any time soon.
You may think it’s hot, but for your furry friends it could be very dangerous!
For pets, the heat can stress their ability to control their body temperature. In extreme cases, pets can suffer brain damage, fatal heat stroke or suffocate. Yet, there are some ways owners can reduce heat stress.
TIPS TO KEEP PET SAFE
- Avoid activity during the heat of the day
- Avoid asphalt – Ensure pets have access to plenty of water
- Spray down pets that are struggling with heat
- Never leave pets unattended in a parked car for any period of time
On warm days, temperatures inside a vehicle can easily exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even when the windows are partially open.
Some animals suffer under the summer sun itself, though. Pet owners should look out for the following symptoms of heat stress:
- Dark red gums
EZ Vet is your companion to a healthy pet!
The following tips will help ensure that your pet travels safely, whether it be by train, ship, or airplane.
Traveling by ship
With the exception of assistance dogs, only a few cruise lines accept pets -and usually on ocean crossings only. Some lines permit pets in private cabins, but mostly they are confined to kennels. Contact cruise lines in advance to find out their policies and which of their ships have kennel facilities. If you must use the ship’s kennel, make sure it is protected from the elements.
Traveling by train
Amtrak currently does not accept pets unless they are assistance dogs.
(There may be smaller U.S. railroad companies that permit animals on board.) Many trains in European countries allow pets. Generally, it is the passengers’ responsibility to feed and exercise their pets at station stops.
To ensure a smooth trip for you and your pet, follow the guidelines suggested below for traveling by airplane.
Traveling by airplane
The HSUS recommends that you do not transport your pet by air unless absolutely necessary. If your pet must travel in the cargo hold, you can increase the chances of a safe flight for your pet by following these tips.
Hope you find these tips helplful.
EZ Vet is your companion to a healthy pet!
More pets are lost on Independence Day than any other day. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe!
1.) Go for a long walk before celebrating. If you normally take your dog out for thirty minutes, take a two-hour hike instead! You want your dog to be completely exhausted. This way his brain will be so tired that he won’t be able to concentrate on the fireworks.
2.) Use canine-safe ear plugs. It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous system, and they may become nervous, afraid, unsure, or shy. Running away from the noise is a survival mechanism. If you can block the noise, it may curb the “flight” response.
3.) Distract your dog. Once the fireworks go off, ask him to do obedience behavior, put him on the treadmill, or strap on his backpack. This helps him focus on something other than the noise.
4.) Involve your dog’s nose. Scents such as lavender or pine can help encourage your dog to relax.
5.) Maintain calm and assertive energy. Don’t feel sorry or frustrated. Don’t blame the fireworks or the people setting them off. These negative emotions will just feed your dog’sanxiety; it won’t help the situation!
6.) Keep your dog on a leash. This will give you more control and help you prevent your dog from running off.
7.) Make sure your dog has I.D. If your dog does become lost, tags and microchips can get him back to you safely. You may also want to consider investing in a device that allows you to locate your dog immediately, like Global Pet Finder.
8.) Be proactive! If you learn that your dog is nervous around fireworks, start preparing now for next year. I recommend that you begin conditioning your dog to be comfortable with these loud sounds at least three months in advance. Don’t wait until Independence Day to introduce your dog to the loud sounds associated with fireworks. Download the sounds of firecrackers, pistols, and other loud noises, and allow your dog to hear them at a low volume while he’s eating, walking, sleeping, and watching TV with you. Gradually increase the volume each day until your dog is comfortable with the sounds at the highest level. I also recommend that you introduce the scent of fireworks to your dog, so he becomes comfortable with that. It’s a simple process, but it takes time. Don’t wait until the last minute to do something about it, and next year it will be a walk in the park!